Wildwood Creek ~ One Story, Two Mysteries ~ By Lisa Wingate
Take a historical fact, throw in one of the biggest droughts in Texas history,
a bit of folk lore, a curious author on a summer road trip, an odd monument,
You have a mystery.
Meet one of my Most Favorite authors and persons in general,
(Click on the red links for more information)
Lisa’s stories are always heartwarming and touching.
The kind of tale that makes you think about real life and how circumstances just happen…
to the best and worst of us.
Each time I close the cover to one of Lisa’s books,
I find myself deeply effected.
I want to reach out and help others.
Isn’t that what a book should do?
Let me introduce you to this wonderful writer and give you some more tantalizing teasers for her newest release,
Lisa, tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a mom with an empty nest. One son has moved on into adulthood after college. He has a great job (yay!) and lives close enough to visit easily. Man-child number 2 is in his first year at college, having all the fun he can stand, and he’s far enough away that the visits aren’t as frequent.
Hence, the nest is empty, so hubby and I have moved on to the next stage of live with an adorable Empty Nest Therapy Puppy. Huck (short for Huckleberry Finn because he’s a literary dog) is a darling (and fabulously smart, we’re sure) tri-colored Havanese. He’s learning all the complex requirements for being a writer’s assistant, including sleeping near the computer table for hours on end, contributing brilliant comments to the Facebook page, making random story suggestions, and occasionally saying, “You’ve been in that chair for hours, Woman, get up and feed me, for heaven’s sake!” During breaks he gives hugs (really!), gets me outside for walks, and allows me to marvel at his ridiculous cuteness.
How did you begin your writing career?
I finished Oklahoma State University with a degree in Technical Writing and Computers (and a husband, Sam). I went to work for a few years as a technical writer and trainer for software, quitting when we moved and I was expecting our first child. My grandmother came to visit el primo son when he was a newborn, her first great grandchild.
As I struggled with the question of whether I should return to the corporate world and how quickly, she would rock the baby and tell me stories of her childhood and her early married life.
I came to know her as I never had before and wrote down those stories in a little notebook after she went to bed at night. Her life lesson tales later became the genesis for my first novel, Tending Roses. It’s been on the shelves for 12 years and still sells well and gains me more new readers than any of my other books.
One day, Grandma came right out and said to me, “Lisa, you have your whole life to work, but you only have a few years to enjoy being the mother of a young child.” It was a lightbulb moment. I started my freelance career and later wrote Tending Roses. I went on to write a total of 21 books, so far.
How does the rest of your family feel?
My family is very supportive of and excited about my writing these days. I often say I have the most educated assistant in the business. She’s a retired educator, a PHD. She is my first reader, helps with so much communication and details, usually travels with me to events and on tours. Many author friends have asked to borrow her, but I don’t lend her out. All the family and in-laws are encouragers and most read my books.
Actually, some have shown up as characters in various books, but that another whole story. It’s fun being at a Wingate reunion, though, and hearing the aunts say,“Donetta is really me, isn’t she?”
I have to tell you though, that is now. I didn’t come from a family that encouraged writing as a career. They insisted I get an education and take on a day job. I guess they didn’t want me living in their basement all my life.
What are you working on now?
I just finished the edits for my next book, The Story Keeper to be released by Tyndale September 1. It is a companion book to The Prayer Box and is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. I enjoyed writing in two different time frames so much in Wildwood Creek, that I’ve done it again. I’m not letting the cat out of this bag yet, but my beta readers loved discovering a century old story through my heroine’s eyes. Jen is busy solving a present day mystery about a manuscript’s source and the historical strand goes back to the Lost Colony on the Outer Banks. There will be an e-novella preview of this book about June or July. The novella isn’t titled yet, so stay tuned.
Lastly, give us a look into Wildwood Creek.
The story is a combination of folk legend, historical fact, and wild flight of fancy. I like to think of it as part historical, part contemporary, part romance, part adventure, and part drama. The idea began spinning itself in my head after a chance encounter with a roadside monument. I’d tell you about the monument, but… well… that would spoil the story. Suffice to say that it commemorates a sad and much-debated chapter of Civil War history in Texas. Many people outside Texas aren’t even aware that the state was part of the Confederacy, or that the issue was hotly debated among Texans as the conflict heated up to the east.
I have always been a lover of history, and having grown up in the era of sweeping western movies, I’m especially fond of the history of the American frontier. I’m a sucker for roadside monuments, Small-town museums, the foundations of old homesteads, historical markers, and old graveyards. Standing over the time-worn headstones of child graves, sometimes several in the same family, I’ve often felt the connection to the human side of history, to the mothers of those children, whose grief at times must have been overwhelming. It’s impossible not to wonder, from the safer vantage point of a modern life, if I could have endured what those pioneer women endured. If I were in the shoes of my ancestors, would I have the metal to survive?
That sense of wondering, and that love for history, are part of Wildwood Creek. A 150 year-old mystery lies hidden beneath Moses Lake in the story, and though the locals have long shared tall tales and legends of Wildwood, a town in which the citizenry suddenly vanished near the beginning of the war, no one knows what really happened. But as Allie accepts a position among the cast of a docudrama set to reenact the last days of Wildwood, a summer drought (yes, we had one of those in real life as I was writing the book) is closing in and the secrets of Wildwood are about to rise to the surface.
That’s a lot of words to tell you about what actually happened and set my imaginary world to spinning this story. Go here and see what I saw.
Where can readers find you?
I like to be in touch with readers, hear from readers, and share snippets of my life with readers. Readers can sign up for my occasional e-newsletter, join my Precious Pearls Club and read chapters of all my books on my website. They can go to my Youtube channel for videos about my books and inspirational videos. (Permission is granted to share my videos with friends everywhere). Readers can also check my Appearances page. If I’m in their area I’d love for us to met at one of my events. Website is…
I blog with a sweet sisterhood of author gal pals. As I write today, we have just done a whole reorganization, changing the website and adding authors to make us a group of ten. I’m on deck every other Monday. We have nifty recipes, lots of chatting about books and writing and all kinds of girlfriend topics. You are invited to come to our porch and chat a while. There is no signing up to comment, so please on Comments and let us know you’ve dropped in. That would be…
If you’d like to drop in at Lisa Wingate Reader’s Circle on Facebook you’ll see lots of pictures and comments about everything from Dr. Oz to what those big man children are doing now, to pictures of Huckleberry the literary dog. I like lots of “likes” and lots of friends. Just put in a request.
We can tweet to each other here…
On Pinterest you can see boards about many of my books. There are just too many other things to list. Just go and look for recipes, ideas for recycling books, all things about boy and critters, crafts, and on and on. I love all this “eye candy” and the visual nature of it helps get me away from my keyboard. It’s great when friends PIN my books to their board for their followers to see. Now and then I have a drawing/giveaway where winners get to visit the Sandy’s Seashell Shop board and pick out their prize of sea glass jewelry. Warning: Pinterest is addictive, so make sure you have some time in front of you. My Pinterest link is…
If you search for me on Goodreads.com or Bookfun.org I’m there!
Of course, I have author pages at all the usual online booksellers and book club sites — Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, ChristianBooks.com etc. Bookfun.com, etc.
Now is your chance to get your very own copy of Lisa’s new book, Wildwood Creek. Simply leave a comment and make sure I can contact you via email.
Lisa Wingate is a journalist, inspirational speaker, reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, and the author of over twenty novels. Her novels combine elements of history, romance, mystery, and women’s fiction with nuggets of Southern culture, from the sublime to the humorous. She is a seven-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, a Christianity Today Book Award nominee, an Inspy Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her works have been selected for Booklist’s Top Ten List in 2012 and in 2013. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.
Cindy M. Jones ~ Stories for Readers, Tips for Writers
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